- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
Every fantasy football league has that guy who either holds up the draft, or doesn't pay his dues on time. If you're unfortunate enough, sometimes you'll have both. Apparently, outfielder Jayson Werth was the latter guy in the Nationals team fantasy football league last season, and according to league commissioner and Nationals reliever Craig Stammen, it cost Werth his valuable spot in the league for 2014.
While making a radio appearance with 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on Thursday, Stammen revealed that Werth was way late paying his league dues. As in, months after the football season ended. And, as a result, Werth was not invited back.
“We kicked Jayson Werth out of the league this year,” Stammen said. “Jayson failed to pay last year. He didn’t pay until spring training, so we kicked him out of the league for late payment.”
Now that's a commissioner who's willing to put his foot down.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
When the Pittsburgh Pirates broke camp in March, they didn't have a clear position in mind for Josh Harrison. His versatility — he plays all three outfield position and three-fourths of the infield — guaranteed he'd receive plenty of playing time, but when or where it would come was not set in stone.
As it goes in baseball, things tend to change quickly. By the end of April, Harrison was playing every day in right field while the Pirates waited for top prospect Gregory Polanco to develop in Triple-A. By July, his numbers clearly justified his first All-Star selection, which Harrison received.
With Pittsburgh's outfield getting healthy and in order following the break, Harrison was transitioned again, this time to third base in place of Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez, who led the NL in home runs in 2013, first lost his position due to prolonged defensive struggles, and then suffered an injury that will keep him out for the season.
So now it's solely up to Harrison to man the hot corner, and like every other assignment Pittsburgh has given him, he's making sure the job gets done right.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
Your browser does not support iframes.
It would appear Logan Morrison made an unnecessary turn somewhere around Aberdeen (Washington, that is).
Either that, or he was just a little too aggressive attempting to break up an inning-ending double play on Saturday night in Seattle.
We'll go with the latter, but admittedly it took a few seconds for it to settle in that Morrison literally slid 6-8 feet away from the second base bag, directly into Oakland shortstop Jed Lowrie, who was attempting to dodge contact and turn a double play.
Lowrie ended up eating the baseball rather than attempting to throw and ultimately getting scraped off the dirt. Needless to say, he made the right decision. However, the umpiring crew - particularly Brian Gorman, who was manning second base - seemed to struggle with the reality of Morrison's aggression, and at least initially didn't rule interference.
That would obviously change after A's manager Bob Melvin ran out and alerted the crew that Morrison was sliding to a base that didn't exist.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew18 hrs ago
Atlanta Braves shortshop Andrelton Simmons has shown he can make every play on the infield, often with relative ease due to his next-level athleticism and cannon-like right arm.
At this point, there's really no way to successfully challenge him when he's in his domain, so it appears Simmons is now challenging himself by expanding his jurisdiction to areas far away from his home position.
For example, during Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Texas Rangers, Simmons decided to pursue Michael Choice's popup into shallow center field. It wasn't hit hard, but it was hit high, allowing Simmons to gain ground quickly. Center fielder Emilio Bonafacio ran a long ways, too, and was in position to make the play. Given that he's the captain of the outfield, it really should have been his play to make. However, he gave way to Simmons, whose back was completely to the infield.
It sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, and quite frankly it probably would have been with just about any other shortstop. Just not Simmons. He snatched the ball out of the air, and then instinctively spun and fired a rocket to first base nearly doubling off Luis Sardinas.Mon, Sep 154:10 PM PDTWashington at AtlantaPreview Game
One of the big concerns with Major League Baseball mandating the installation of metal detectors at every stadium beginning in 2015 is how it will impact fans getting into the stadium in a timely manner.
Those concerns certainly won't be quieted after Saturday. Not after a full security screening at Miller Park in Milwaukee — which would probably be considered a test run — produced long lines outside the stadium, and even led to the start of the game being delayed 15 minutes to accommodate fans who were still waiting as the scheduled start time neared.
The start of the Brewers game tonight has been pushed 15 minutes to help allow fans to get through enhanced MLB security measures.
That's obviously problematic, though with a pushed up Saturday start of 6:05 locally it's not as big of a deal as delaying a weeknight 7:05 game.
Only moments before Alex Avila stepped up to the plate representing the go-ahead run in Detroit, the Kansas City Royals wrapped up a 7-1 win over the Red Sox, temporarily moving into a first place tie with Detroit. That meant a Tigers loss would result in another switch atop the AL Central standings, but Avila wasn't having any of that. With his team down by a run, he turned on a 3-2 pitch from Indians reliever Bryan Shaw and deposited it in the right field bleachers for a two-run homer that would prove to be the difference in Detroit's 5-4 win.
Avila's home run marked the third lead change in the game. Mike Aviles, not to be confused with Avila, put Cleveland ahead in the sixth with a two-run double. Cleveland would threaten to extend the lead in the eighth, but Torii Hunter made a diving catch with two outs to rob Yan Gomes and the Indians of at least two more runs.
According to Brian McPherson of the Providence Journal, the rebuilding Boston Red Sox are set to unveil another piece of the team's future. Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo is expected to be among Boston's final September call-ups, and will likely debut on Tuesday when they visit the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Castillo, 27, signed a seven-year, $72 million contract with Boston on Aug. 22. At the time, he was believed to be major league ready, but Boston decided to give him a couple weeks in the minor leagues to knock off some rust since he hadn't appeared in an official game since Cuba's 2012-13 season. Castillo has played at different levels of Boston's system, including his current stint with the Pawtucket Red Sox, who are now competing for the Governors' Cup to determine an International League champion.
New York Mets closer Jenrry Mejia is one of the more animated relievers in the game today. His post-save celebrations are known to be both entertaining and somewhat head-scratching, which would probably put him in the same category as a former Mets' reliever, Jose Valverde.
For Mets opponents, of course, Mejia's antics are a bit closer to annoying. That proved to be the case again on Friday as several Washington Nationals players did not seem pleased with Mejia's exuberance or his simulations.
After striking out Ian Desmond to secure New York's 4-3 win, Mejia seemed to break out the fishing pole and motioned like he was reeling Desmond (or something else, perhaps) toward the mound.
Once his invisible target was secured, he simulated snapping it over his knee. Perhaps that was intended to be Desmond. Perhaps he's a wrestling fan and was channeling his favorite WWE superstar. It's also possible he was simply signifying the Mets snapping their 12-game home losing streak to Washington.
It's an impossible question to answer, especially when the man behind the celebration can't explain it himself.Mon, Sep 154:10 PM PDTMiami at NY MetsPreview Game
How do Major League Baseball teams keep an even keel following crushing losses? It's never easy, but despite what has been a disappointing season, the Tampa Bay Rays always seem to find a way to navigate those tricky waters.
Having a level-headed manager like Joe Maddon at the helm certainly helps. As it turns out, so does having a September roster filled with rookies.
Those rookies, as is baseball tradition, are at the mercy of the team's veterans during their time in the big league clubhouse. And more often than not, their off-field assignments are designed solely for the amusement of the established players. Or, as the timing would have it on Thursday night, a pick-me-up after Alex Cobb's near no-hitter turned into a painful walk-off loss in the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium.Mon, Sep 154:10 PM PDTNY Yankees at Tampa BayPreview Game
Frank Torre, a former major leaguer who spent eight seasons manning first base for the Milwaukee Braves and Philadelphia Phillies, and an even longer time guiding and mentoring his younger brother, 2014 Hall of Fame inductee Joe Torre, has died. He was 82.
Torre was signed by the Boston Braves in 1951 and later made his big league debut in 1956 after the team had moved to Milwaukee. In 1957, Torre's second season, he played a big role in the Braves bringing a World Series championship to Milwaukee. Torre homered twice in the Series, which the Braves won in seven games against the New York Yankees. 1958 would prove to be his best individual season. He hit .320 with six homers and 55 RBIs over 138 games.